April Shakespeare News

Controversy Films presents Nothing is Truer than Truth

Celebrating Shake-speare’s Birthday, 2014 Tony Award Nominations, The Independent Film Festival Boston, Shakespeare’s Dictionary? and more…

NOTHING IS TRUER THAN TRUTH screens in Portland on Edward De Vere’s birthday

7I5oO9f31cwcO6silNY5RWZp_lr142ycoBRrlkFQFu3CthmuQ7A8mMm4zCelQmc9MQFj9ltEddsZZib-15gjXl1HwGjzpOPeQ-fAphJ9QkfajM0=s0-d-e1-ftThe rough cut screening of NOTHING IS TRUER THAN TRUTH at the 18th annual Shakespeare Authorship Research Centre (SARC) conference at Concordia University on Saturday, April 12th, the 464th anniversary of Edward de Vere’s birth, was a great way to celebrate the true Shake-speare! The soon-to-be- released film was met with enthusiasm and lots of excellent questions and feedback. The opportunity to screen the eighty-minute preview for an audience of Shakespeare scholars, many of whom appear in the documentary and have supported the project throughout the entire production, was extremely important to me as a filmmaker. Thank you so much to everyone who participated in the event and offered valuable insight into the viewing experience. We are very excited about putting the finishing touches on the film with your continued dedication and truly amazing generosity.

b1chqKzk0_JPSmSk84J_zdr22homSJ797Sv6knaKbGmBufW2IJfwLeR_kyvnnsVVPiSCaSU2RL22O6yvUCOljo3MCodAuaDkx6hHesrIQZOXQA=s0-d-e1-ftIn other news, I am honored to announce that I have been nominated to serve on the Board of Directors of the Shakespeare Oxford Fellowship. The nonprofit SOF was created last November from the merger of the two largest authorship organizations in the U.S., the Shakespeare Fellowship and the Shakespeare Oxford Society. The SOF is dedicated to research, education, and academic debate. From the website:

The goals of the Fellowship include bringing the Shakespeare authorship debate to a world-wide audience via the Internet and stimulating a wide-ranging dialogue on the relevance of Shakespeare to the 21st century. Membership is open to everyone; please join us!

Congratulations to all of my esteemed colleagues who are also nominated, and sincere thanks to the nominating committee for putting my name forward with such an accomplished group of peers.  Elections for new officers will take place later this year.

All the World’s A Stage

Thanks to Mark Anderson for sharing this item: A new article from Rambler suggests the possibility that a scene in Thomas Middleton’s “The Roaring Girl” (1611) contains many riffs on Shakespeare and Vere. One character in the play, Trapdoor, could represent a hybrid of Shakespeare and Vere and brags about “ambling all over Italy.” Could he have been acting in plays in Italy?

Read Rambler’s Looking for Shakespeare blogpost here.

d4nkYgwSRQdSKx6vtmvrl4qIUomVXFnORB05Da2bgCtwZ4giRJhcS1hfSGax5ZTekJXOSwtMILFKtuImmPz9qfc6vXb6XveY7Iz-0ATwaKOY00c=s0-d-e1-ftDiane Paulus rules the world

Time Magazine names Diane Paulus one of the 100 Most Influential People of 2014.

“When you talk to Diane Paulus, her bright, sparkly blue eyes always look like she has just discovered something, whether you’re talking about No. 2 pencils or the cosmos. She is that passionate about everything. That’s why she has such good radar – she’s open to the whole experience that is theater. She’ll take a good idea from anyone, and she’s willing to try anything. It can be as wild and imaginative as possible – as long as it’s authentic.”

Read the Time Magazine article here.

2014 Tony Nominees: ART productions and Mark Rylance in Twelfth Night & Richard III


Announced today, nominees for this year’s Tony awards include the American Repertory Theatre production of Glass Menagerie and the Mark Rylance smash hit Twelfth Night, with 7 nods each, as well as ART’s All the Way and Rylance in Richard III. Rylance is nominated twice for best actor in Twelfth Night and Richard III, and Bryan Cranston is nominated for the LBJ bio. Best Director choices include John Tiffany for Glass Menagerie and Tim Carroll for Twelfth Night. The Shakespeare comedy earned votes for Stephen Fry and Samuel Barnett as well, while the Tennessee Williams drama garnered ballots for Cherry Jones, Celia Keenan-Bolger, and Brian J. Smith. Kudos to all of the nominees of the 4 brilliant productions!

See the complete list here.

Join the debate: Did Shakespeare visit Italy?


For Tuscany Now, Phoebe Ryan talks to different sources about the Italian locations found in many of Shakespeare’s plays.

“William Shakespeare, part of the mercantile class, is unlikely to have had the wealth or status that facilitated travel.  Whether his plays illustrate a personal knowledge of Italy or not is a highly contested point between Stratfordians, (who believe Shakespeare wrote Shakespeare) and Non-Stratfordians, often Oxfordians (who believe he couldn’t have, and that de Vere may be the playwright).  We’ve spoken to lecturers and enthusiasts on both sides to highlight some key questions.”

Read the rest of the article here, and please add to the discussion by commenting at the end of the post!

The 2014 Season: Will it be comedy, tragedy, or history? Shakespeare at Fenway!


On September 19, Commonwealth Shakespeare Company will celebrate its 20th year with “Shakespeare at Fenway” a selection of scenes from Shakespeare’s plays performed by local and national celebrities. The performance is in addition to the annual Shakespeare on the Common series, free performances on Boston Common. This year, Twelfth Night will run from July 23 – August 10.

Find more information about Shakespeare at Fenway here.


Shakespeare’s personal dictionary, found?

Two rare booksellers in New York purchased a copy of John Baret’s Quadruple Dictionairie dated from 1580. After an extensive 6 year examination of the book they’ve come to the conclusion that it is Shakespeare’s personal dictionary. The booksellers, Koppelman and Wechsler, published a book of their findings, Shakespeare’s Beehive, and launched a website with high intensity scans of each page of the dictionary, which show Shakespeare’s alleged markings and annotations.

Read the Guardian UK article about the dictionary here.

According to The Chronicle of Higher Education, “Skepticism Abounds.”

Like most of our esteemed colleagues involved in authorship research, including Roger Stritmatter, author of The Marginalia of Edward de Vere’s Geneva Bible, this article reports that many Shakespeare scholars have dismissed this claim based on the annotations and the lack of provenance.

Read more here…


The Muse and the Marketplace Writers’ Conference Next Weekend

This three day literary conference is designed to give aspiring writers a better idea of the process of craft, promotion, publishing, and networking. Walter Mosley and Jane Friedman will be giving keynote presentations among a hundred authors and presenters.

Register now!

Harvard’s first ever literary festival

From April 29 to May 1, Harvard LitFest! will offer panels and discussions with hundreds of authors including Jamaica Kincaid and Margaret Atwood. Workshops on spoken-word, fiction, and poetry will help you master the craft and representatives from the Atlantic and the New York Times Book Review will discuss the business.

Find more information and a full schedule here.

The 12th Annual Independent Film Festival Boston

This year the local indie film fest featured some excellent films by friends and colleagues, including the debut narrative feature Beneath the Harvest Sky by documentary partners Aron Gaudet and Gita Pullapilly, and the long-awaited portrait of another local cinematic team, the legendary verite documentarian Ed Pincus and his brilliant film partner Lucia Small, One Cut, One Life. Two works of devastating beauty, each in its own way, a love letter to its subjects.

Controversy Films is committed to making films that ask difficult questions, challenge the conventional wisdom, and incite action. One very important film that I was fortunate to see at IFFB, now playing the festival circuit, is The Internet’s Own Boy: The Aaron Swartz Story, by Brian Knappenberger. This is a must-see film that holds everyone accountable for what is nothing less than a modern-day tragedy, the story of a brilliant young man dedicated to the idea that knowledge is power and should be accessible to all. The film concludes by suggesting grassroots action, that, although it can never bring Aaron back, can change the world we live in, and that is something he would be proud of.

Aaron Swartz: The Internet’s Own Boy


Aaron Swartz: The Documentary Teaser

“The Internet’s Own Boy,” the new film by Brian Knappenberger, follows internet activist and programmer Aaron Swartz from his teenage years to his involvement with Reddit and RSS to the controversy with academic article website JSTOR.

29Please help us bring the film to audiences around the world! We cannot reach our goal without your help.

We still need to raise funds for rights clearances, music, graphics, color correction, online editing, and festival entries.

Donate Now!

Thank you to everyone who has supported the project by donating through our fiscal sponsor, The Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP) New York. All donations made through IFP are 100% tax deductible and proceeds go directly to the film.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of actor Bob Hoskins.

be1kspqVLogTjxBuDCHNfDkyBFOwV1fgp-QCQP896gi1TibDaShOOBWvq4NFt8P0tbDBEVOCYPwOwP2wAtJerzH4U5FAOTWd1LJAAhZt1y9R5D46qyOGYFBQwViur3Qxq655vqpbnDYkRe8MWaghYhRJcvrjEY4Iv2O8jku8ncxM4ksjd4vkfVe_Hv8h9qSUqFW_Tfi7E6aU5APTogLC1BT17WRead Dana Steven’s tribute to a brilliant Shakespearean here.


Celebrating Will Shakspere’s 450th Birthday

Stratfordians celebrated the April 23rd date of the baptism of Guiliamus filius Johannes Shakspere with all manner of events, including a call for a Romeo & Juliet flash mob from The Folger Library, and a “top seven” list of activities from The New York Times for educators hoping to engage 21st century students in the canon. Most notable was item number 7, which suggested class discussion of the authorship question, and then linked to two articles which mocked the idea, one by Will in the World author Stephen Greenblatt, and the other an opinion piece by Lorrie Moore, which quotes Greenblatt, and the results of a 2007 survey of English professor, recounted in an article by William Neiderkorn titled “Shakespeare Reaffirmed.” What authorship question?? The lesson plan includes discussion of the film Anonymous, and then links to Ben Brantley’s 2011 article “Who Wrote Shakespeare? Who Cares?”

My suggestion as an educator: students, first question everything, and then, YOU DECIDE…


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